Dorothea Lange - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • While taken to document unsafe housing conditions in San Francisco’s Mission District, the present photograph shows Dorothea Lange’s remarkable compositional artistry. With her precisely calculated account of her subject matter, Lange exploits light, shadow, and texture, deftly handling the tonal values in the finished print to create a photograph that transcends its documentary purpose. The present print bears Lange’s bold handwriting on its verso. 


    Verso of photograph (detail).


    • Provenance

      Photo West Gallery, San Diego

    • Literature

      Levin and Northrup, From the Library of Congress. Dorothea Lange: Farm Security Administration Photographs, 1935-1939, Volume I, p. 180 and fiche 6:64


Mission District Firetrap, San Francisco, California

Gelatin silver print.
7 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (18.4 x 24.1 cm)
Inscribed 'Ca., San Francisco -, Feb. 3-1936, Mission District, Fire Trap' in ink on the verso.

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023